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The Big Story

A Chinese military base in Southeast Asia? Some say it's inevitable

Beyond infrastructure wars, firepower still a measure of regional dominance

GWEN ROBINSON, Nikkei Asian Review editor-at-large | China

BANGKOK -- Big-power rivalry in the Asia-Pacific region has shifted the focus from military firepower toward competition over infrastructure and investment, spurred by China's Belt and Road scheme and the U.S. and Japan-led Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy. Yet traditional security concerns are more vital than ever, in some cases determining the rollout of megaprojects and military activity.

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